Feral Cats · homesteading · permaculture

Mystery Creature Fights, A New Compost Box, and The Beginnings of a Bug Farm

It’s been a little weird around here lately. You ever have a day when Bigfoot suddenly doesn’t sound like the drunken rambles of your uncle Hank? Yeah, we’ve all had days like that. Today was one of them for me when I discovered the evidence for an epic battle in our front yard – somehting that had taken place in the wee morning hours. There sitting on the lawn was a flurry of hair, big tufts just strewn everywhere. We had heard one of the feral cats outside yowling but it didn’t occur to us it was anything more than a territorial dispute. Now as I took a clunk of hair in my hands I realized this was no cat on cat battle. The hair was course, real course, long, with no detectable odor, with a white shaft tipped at the end with black. What kind of animal was that?!

At first I thought it was a skunk. It sure felt like skunk hair… but it didn’t smell and I had a hard time believing a skunk would allow itself to be pummeled that badly by a cat and not drop the stink bomb on the situation. Besides skunk hair is either white or black, not shaded with both colors. From here I thought it was a coyote because we have those buggars by the dozen around these parts but it’s a bit light for a coyote. Could it be a stray dog? It was sort of like Husky hair. Someone suggested it may be a raccoon but the color was off. I was stumped… but Google eventually pulled through and with a few searches I think I have determined it was likely a possum – one poor miserable possum who got in the way of a very large angry tom cat and lost all its dignity in the ensuing fight. Fascinating.

Also in the news is our brand new composting box. We’ll be using it to get rid of leaves, soiled straw, the food scraps we can’t give the chickens. Since it is composed of scrap wood and nails left behind in the barn we spent all of $20 on it (for the four corner posts.)

Finally, since we were salvaging wood we were also asked if we needed any little plastic drawers. YES! I was going to buy some of those to start a meal worm farm for the chickens and now I don’t have to. Score!